HC Deb 16 December 1912 vol 45 cc1067-8

asked the right hon. Gentleman if he will say whether the careful inquiry in 1910 into the complaints of unfair monopoly in all business in China enjoyed by Messrs. Jardine, Matheson, and Company, or that company's explanation, which was considered satisfactory, or any subsequent inquiry or explanation, disclosed the fact that during the construction of the Shanghai-Nanking Railway, the head of Jardine, Matheson, and Company, at Shanghai, for the time being was chairman of the Shanghai-Nanking Railway Board, and in that capacity issued orders for the supply of materials for the same to Jardine, Matheson, and Company; and if he will explain what there was in the circumstances to make that arrangement satisfactory to anyone but Jardine, Matheson, and Company?


His Majsety's Government are aware that the Shanghai agent of Messrs. Jardine, Matheson, and Company was also chairman of the Shanghai-Nanking Railway Board at the time in question. The construction of the railway was completed in 1908, and no complaints were received by His Majesty's Government prior to September, 3 910. The complaints subsequently received were against the alleged unfair use by Messrs. Jardine, Matheson, and Company of their position to favour firms for which they were agents. As already stated, in reply to the hon. Member for Thanet on 11th December, the explanations given with regard to these charges were considered satisfactory. It was never alleged, as suggested by the hon. Member, that orders for material were given to Messrs. Jardine, Matheson, and Company themselves.